When I was little I remember driving from Sauk Centre to St. Cloud, seeing the sign on I-94 for Saint John’s University and the Abbey from a distance. I dreamed about going to college there someday (I had no idea it was a men’s college). At the same time, I didn’t think it would ever be in the cards for me because of the price tag that came along with it. My dad came from an extremely low-income family; therefore, he worked day and night to provide for our family so that we wouldn’t have the same life growing up as he did. My parents always taught me that no matter the circumstances, anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard. The day finally came that I received my College of Saint Benedict acceptance letter and four years later my diploma followed. I guess it was in the cards all along.
My husband, Tim, and I have been together for more than 16 years and married for nearly 13 years. I can’t imagine my life without him. This photo of us was taken last fall in a sunflower field outside of Cold Spring and on it is my wedding ring and 10th-anniversary ring. Over the years we have been through a lot, but because of our strong love for one another, we have always gotten through it together. We have very different interests, and I think that is what keeps our marriage exciting. And I still love him even though he is a Dodger fan.
Our beautiful country has so much to offer. Since my husband I started dating we have been traveling the United States. From coast to coast (California to Washington D.C.), we have visited a lot of places, but we are not even close to being done. Also, the California book is extra special because that is where my husband was born and raised. This past summer we spent nearly the entire month of June exploring California from San Diego up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco.
A lot of people might not recognize the next item, but it represents a few things for me. Let me explain: it is actually a Cricut Cutie, the “mascot” or logo for the Cricut cutting machine. I love to craft, it is my favorite hobby and brings me to my happy place. Also, just looking at this little guy you can’t help smile and be happy. He looks a little weird and crazy, and some say I am a little weird and crazy . . . or as my husband calls me – wonderfully weird.
My scarf also has a few meanings . . . for starters, I am ALWAYS cold. It doesn’t matter if I am wearing multiple layers, I still am freezing. As I’m sure you can guess, Minnesota winters are not my favorite. I also love to wear fun accessories such as scarves, boots, jewelry, etc. I have always believed in the idea of dressing how you feel. Being an extreme extrovert and with my energetic personality, I like to match my outfit with how I am feeling or want to feel. 🙂
Next is a tire gauge, but not any tire gauge, a Ford tire gauge. I have driven Fords my whole life and have always loved my car. And I know that people have their preference when it comes to cars, but to me, Ford is so much more than a type of vehicle. My dad, my hero, has worked for Ford for more than 33 years. They gave him the opportunity to support his family and create a better life for my mom, my two sisters and myself.
About five years ago I was diagnosed with some tough medical issues. At that point, I decided to make a lifestyle change. I began working out every day and changing the way I ate including eliminating dairy due to a newfound dairy allergy. This didn’t take away my medical challenges, but it did help relieve them. By six in the morning each day, I have already completed my daily workout and I am ready for the day. Some might say it’s crazy how early I get up, but I guess it’s just one of those things that make me who I am! I am definitely a morning person!!!
My mom is my best friend and one of the strongest women I know. I have watched her go through things and fight for her family like no other. When my grandmother, her mother, passed away six years ago, she bought me this angel necklace to remind me that my grandmother is always with me. I cherish this more than anything. On days that I think things might get a little stressful, I wear this necklace to remind me that my grandma is watching over me. It gives me a sense of comfort and peace.
Faith is a big part of my life. I love learning about other religions and hold mine close to my heart. I believe everything happens for a reason even though we might not know the reason. As a little girl, my mom ensured I knew that God loved me. The Footprints poem has been something that I have used to remind myself that God is with me during the difficult times – even carrying me through them. To help remind myself of this, I have footprints tattooed on the top of my left foot.
I love everything sloths and everything they represent. My journal has several meanings for me . . . my husband gave it to me for my birthday, it is covered in three-toed sloths (better than two-toed, although I do love them all), and it’s a place for me to write down my thoughts and feelings. I write down my emotions, especially those things cause me to hurt and sadness because once they are on paper, I have an easier time releasing them and getting back to my bubbly, overwhelming for some, personality. Then, I close the journal, look at the adorable sloths, and smile because life is good!